AMITE — Tangipahoa Parish’s public schools outpaced the state in performance growth, as a third of the parish’s campuses jumped a letter grade and the overall district inched closer to a “B” letter grade, Superintendent Mark Kolwe said Tuesday.
The parish’s performance score rose from 77.6 in 2013 to 79.0 — a 1.4 point growth that doubled the state’s average growth, Kolwe said. The state Department of Education released the scores Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the number of failing schools in the parish declined from four to one. Roseland Elementary Montessori led the pack, having raised scores by 41.5 points to 79.9 to demonstrate how quickly an “F” school can make a turnaround, Kolwe said.
All nine of the parish’s experimental magnet, Montessori and International Baccalaureate campuses ascended from “failing” status to become “C” or “D” rated campuses, he said.
Kolwe said he is pleased with the district’s overall progress, but he acknowledged there is still work to be done.
“Regardless of the letter grade, we continue to show positive growth,” Kolwe said. “We’re really optimistic that we’ll continue that upward trend.”
In other business, the School Board approved a one-time salary supplement for the district’s teachers and support staff.
The extra check will go out the Friday before Thanksgiving, Kolwe said.
Prior to the board meeting, the board’s Curriculum Committee heard from Loranger resident Thomas Holton, whose grandson is struggling with the system’s math curriculum.
Holton said his grandson, who is in second grade, can arrive at the correct answers but is struggling with the method being taught. The boy is becoming depressed, Holton said, and his mother has been in tears trying to figure out how to help him.
Board members said they understand Holton’s frustrations and have heard the same concerns from other parents, but they cannot change the curriculum.
Chief Academic Officer Theresa Hamilton said the district adopted Pearson’s enVision math program for kindergarten through fifth grade last year.
Math scores have increased since the change, Kolwe said.
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